» 07/02/2012, 00.00
Singh and Gandhi among Assam's flood victims as the rest of India runs dry
A million people are left homeless, 77 are killed and six are missing. Some 2,000 villages have been affected across the state. Monsoons are late in 83 per cent of the country. Government plans a US$ 75 million plan to forecast monsoons.
(AsiaNews/Agencies) - Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Sonia Gandhi,
president of the ruling Congress party, are in Assam today, visiting areas
where monsoon rains have left almost a million people homeless. At least 77
people have died from landslides. Another six are missing. Overall, some 2,000
villages in 27 of the northeastern state's districts are said to be under water.
prime minister announced a subsidy of 100,000 rupees (US$ 1,800) per victim. The
Defence Ministry is providing the full assistance of the army in the rescue
the people of Assam are going through what many say is the worst flood since
1998, the rest of India is dry, with serious consequences for agriculture.
with the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said that the rains should hit northern
states at the end of this week, later than the 29 June forecast given as the
start of the monsoon season. Compared to last year, 83 per cent of the country
saw an average 31 per cent drop in rain.
seasonal monsoons, which were the exception but are now almost the rule, have
raised concerns in a country where 235 million people are farmers. For this
reason, the authorities have launched a US$ 75 million plan to study and
forecast with greater accuracy the arrival of monsoons.
plan includes the use of computer models developed by the UK and the US.
the monsoon will be a major priority of the government for the next five
years," said Shailesh Nayak, a senior official in the ministry of earth
Assam: ULFA militants kill again
Members of the United Liberation Front of Assam kill Rohini Gogoi, a teacher in a Hindi-language school. The group has been fighting for an independent Assam since 1979. In the last few months it has killed more than 70 Hindi-speaking migrants.
Hundreds of people in India's streets for the 'Iron Lady of Manipur' who is in her 15th year of hunger strike
Irom Sharmila has been fasting against martial law in the State of Manipur, which gives special powers (including full legal immunity) to members of the armed forces. This has led to human rights violations. Force-fed with a tube, the activist remains under arrest for "attempted suicide".
Fresh wave of terrorism kills eight people in last five days in Assam
Latest victim dies in market bomb attack. For police responsibility lays with secessionist United Liberation Front of Assam.
In Assam terrorism rooted in ethnic problems and unemployment
Fr V M Thomas, a Salesian priest and executive director of the Don Bosco Institute in Guwahati, explains the reasons behind the escalating violence and the explosions. Last Thursday’s blasts also hit Christians.
Indian couple requests abortion for fetal heart defect
The country's law bans abortion after the 20th week. The fetus, now in the 25th week, has heart problems that would require the insertion of a pacemaker after birth, followed by regular operations to replace it. A firm "no" from the Church, which defends the absolute principle of the "right to life".
Pope Francis tells young people that “genuine love” is not a “soap opera”, but Christians’ real identity card
In his homily for the Jubilee of Teens, Pope Francis asked questions and gave answers to the 70,000 present. Stressing the great ideal of love as giving oneself “without being possessive”, he noted that freedom is “being able to choose the good”. He warned young people “who dare not dream,” telling them that “If you do not dream at your age, you are already ready for retirement”. He also received funds raised for the Ukraine, and appealed for the release of bishops and the priests held in Syria.
Odd alliance between the US and Iranian fundamentalists
Washington is still preventing the use of US dollars in transactions with Iranian banks, preventing business with the outside world in spite of the nuclear deal. This way, the US is helping Khamenei and the Revolutionary Guards, who want to torpedo the agreement in order to maintain their hold on power. Meanwhile, most Iranians hold down two or three jobs just to make ends meet. An unstable and bellicose Iran is a boon for arms sales. A report follows.
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